A “skin and bones” cat found wandering around a town has been reunited with its owner after apparently living rough for six years.
Mr Muggles was a “big, chunky boy” when he disappeared from his Newmarket home in Suffolk at the age of about three.
After being spotted in the town, his photo was shared on social media and his owner recognised her missing moggy.
Owner Eloise Renyard said it was “instant recognition for us both” when the cat was returned to her.
“Our family cat Muggles – I always called him Mr Muggles – went missing in the spring of 2014,” said Miss Renyard, who was 18 at the time.
“He was like my shadow, following me everywhere, but the day before he was due to be chipped and neutered he just disappeared.”
Miss Renyard said there were sightings of Mr Muggles “from a distance”, but he could not be enticed back home.
The veterinary nurse assistant moved across the border to Cambridgeshire two years later and her family had given up any hope of seeing their pet.
However, photos of a “skin and bones” stray cat shared on a Newmarket “lost and found pets” Facebook page last week piqued her interest.
“I saw him, and I was knew he was mine,” she said.
Miss Reynard said she “spent ages looking at his distinctive markings – the M on his forehead, the pink nose with black markings, his white socks – but I knew it was definitely him – we weighed up everything”.
She said when he arrived back home Mr Muggles “came straight to me, curled up on my lap, purring and then fell asleep”.
“We don’t know why he didn’t come home, and it does look like he’s probably been living rough, but I’ve finally got my boy back,” she said.
Mr Muggles will be neutered and chipped once he is settled, “as we are never going through that again”, Miss Renyard said.